Step into the world of Blowes Menswear Group and be transported through time with the story of our three generations and over 86 years of trading.
Our founder, Cyril Blowes, was a remarkable man who lived to be 107 years old and witnessed many significant events during his lifetime, including both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 1936, at the age of 23, Cyril purchased a tailoring business in Mudgee after hearing it was for sale while working as a sales assistant in a menswear store in Orange, establishing a partnership with R.M.Williams, which still stands today, 86 years later.
When WW2 hit, Cyril enrolled in the Australian Army, packed all his stock, stored it at his mum's house in Orange and headed off to war. Upon his return to Australia, he unpacked the stock, reopened the store in Mudgee and continued on with his dream.
Stock was hard to come by after the war, and every week he'd catch the train from Mudgee to Sydney on a Sunday night, spend Monday buying from warehouses, returning home late on the Monday night to reopen for trade on Tuesday morning.
The early 1950s saw Cyril opening stores in Coonabarabran and Wellington, selling the Coona store a few years later to his manager, Keith Bryant.
Cyril's son, Warwick Blowes, joined the family business in the late 1960s, and David Blowes, Cyril's nephew, joined a few years later in 1972.
The two cousins moved to Sydney to work - David to Myer, and Warwick to Lowes Menswear to learn their trade. David & Warwick shared a flat and for 2 years they lived, worked and enjoyed life together creating a strong bond for a future business partnership.
In 1969 David transferred to Myer in Orange and Warwick returned to Mudgee for a time before moving to Albury to work for Target Australia.
In 1972 Cyril bought a menswear store in Dubbo, brought Warwick back from Albury to manage it and persuaded David to leave Myer and move to Mudgee to manage the store there. At this time, the business name Cyril Blowes & Sons rebranded to Blowes Menswear.
In 1974, Cyril put a proposal to Warwick and David to buy the business, consisting of the Mudgee and Dubbo stores, and sold the Wellington store to the then manager, Noel Spratt.
In 1978 a second store in Dubbo was opened to cater for the booming country clothing and workwear trade, called Blowes Work & Western Wear. This business was then merged with the other Dubbo store at the current location in Macquarie Street.
The Orange store was opened in 1986 on Anson Street and Peter Segal was transferred from Dubbo to manage it. The Orange store relocated to its current prime location on Summer Street in 1989.
In 1991 David moved to Orange and Peter relocated to Mudgee, his hometown, each to manage the respective stores.
In 1995 a new store was opened in Tamworth, and Steve Purseglove was transferred from Dubbo to manage it. Around the same time, Brendon Blowes joined the business, Warwick's eldest son. He worked with David in Orange and subsequently moved to Tamworth in 1997 to manage the store after Steve Purseglove resigned to open his own menswear store in Gunnedah.
Throughout the 90s, David's son Aaron worked with his father in the Orange store during his school years. After finishing school Aaron studied Business & Retail Management before joining the business permanently in 1998 where he worked his way up from Sales Assistant to Store Manager over 6 years. At this stage, David & Warwick were the joint owners of the four stores.
In 2001 Warwick retired and sold his half to Brendon. This new partnership between David and Brendon continued for a short time before Brendon took control of the Dubbo and Tamworth stores and David took control of the Orange and Mudgee stores. David expanded the business and opened the Bathurst store the same year in 2001.
In 2005 David sold a half share of the business to Aaron, when Aaron became a Director, responsible for sales strategy and growth initiatives.
In 2012 Brendon closed the Tamworth and Dubbo stores and as David and Warwick still owned the now empty Dubbo building, David and Aaron decided to expand, and re-opened the Dubbo store under their leadership where it went from strength to strength.
In 2017 Aaron bought out his father and rebranded to Blowes Clothing. He opened the Wagga store the same year, and although it was perceived to be outside of our "home" territory of the Central West, it has become a highly successful part of the business and intregal to the Riverina.
In 2018, Blowes Clothing took a significant step in expanding its reach by developing its online presence. Developing an online business was a strategic move that offered several benefits, including reaching a wider audience, improving customer convenience, and increasing sales revenue.
In 2021 the Wagga store moved to a new and larger home in the main street of Wagga and is growing strongly.
By leveraging e-commerce, Blowes Clothing has been able to cater to the needs of our customers who prefer online shopping and enable them to purchase our brands from the comfort of their own home.
The continued development of Blowes Clothing's online business is a key focus for the company as it aims to offer customers a seamless shopping experience across all platforms. With a strong online presence, the company can engage with customers in meaningful ways by providing tailored product recommendations, personalised offers, and helpful content that speaks to their needs and preferences.
As the company continues to innovate and improve its online presence, it will remain at the forefront of the retail industry and ensure that our customers receive the best possible service and experience and contributes to the continued growth and success of the business.